Posted: Dec 27, 2012 11:44 AM by Meteorologist Matt Elwell
Updated: Dec 27, 2012 12:09 PM
I will admit it - I am a geek and a gear-head all rolled into one. I love the latest gadgets and I want the coolest power tools. In order to keep my car running in high school (and most of college) I was forced to diagnose and fix most of my own problems. When it came to transmissions and clutches, those issues were left to the experts. There is an element of that science that wasn't worth my limited expertise to learn.
I came across an interesting article the other day that I found fascinating that compares 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) to All Wheel Drive (AWD) and how they work.
Without getting too technical, the article states that an AWD vehicle has all four wheels turning with equal traction and power which is great in dry and normal conditions. The author states that problems occur when one wheel loses traction and power is transferred to that one particular wheel while the others stand stationary. Traction control technology certainly helps, but they can cause some disadvantages as well.
A 4WD vehicle has issues as well, though in slick conditions the power is equally transferred to all wheels. Again, there are disadvantages to using 4WD, but technology has improved how 4WD vehicles operate in snow and ice as a whole.
While the article seems slanted to the 4WD vehicle rather than an AWD vehicle, it sheds light on the mechanics of how each system works. The fact is that you don't need those tools to drive safely in winter weather.
Here are some tips: